Feature Friday: Blakes Hotel, London, United Kingdom

Blakes Hotel in London is a jaw-dropping-worthy boutique hotel, overflowing with luxury and classy design. In 1978, former Bond girl, Anouska Hempel pioneered the idea of a boutique hotel. She transformed a collection of Victorian townhomes in South Kensington into a beautiful retreat from the bustling city streets. The hotel recently went under a multi-million pound refurbishment and is as stunning as ever. The rich black Victorian facade of the hotel is a small taste as to what type of sophisticated and grandness one can expect inside. The hotel's design is a true representative of traditional world design. Each room is inspired by a distinct destination, creating a unique experience in each room and suite. The main areas, such as the lobby and restaurant, find themselves dressed in a design of world fusion and wonderful warm red hues, a color that is recognized as being rich and stately in almost all cultures around the world.  

The rooms are a fusion of eastern and western design, utilizing rich woods and fine fabrics to emphasize the look of luxury. Above, a four poster bed draped in white muslin and washed out woods create a light and breezy escape. The room could be a beach bungalow on the coast of Mozambique or a sunny retreat in the French Riviera. Although the rooms are inspired by far off destinations, they channel a variety of different destinations.

Many of the rooms have fabulous artifacts on display from Hempel's travels in Indochina, Africa and the Middle East. Using a true traveler's collection of artifacts enhances the feeling of being in a luxurious home filled with outstanding global finds and impeccable taste. 

Hempel described the hotel as "a world within a hotel. It exudes luxury with imagination, and combines fine living with a sense of theatre and panache." It is clear that Hempel's extensive travels have taught her the value of having fine linens and quality furnishings to create a truly welcoming stay.

Although each room is distinctly different from the next, the amenities are consistent from room to room. An iPod dock, TV and telephone by Bang & Olufsen, and wirelessly controlled lights, are all part of your luxurious stay.

The hotel's subterranean restaurant, Chinese Room, aka Opium Den is critically acclaimed and has the rich and famous buzzing about the hotel even if they may not be overnight guests. The Den is popular to its famous guests because of the beautiful screens that create privacy and discreetness from the rest of the restaurant. The main restaurant is as beautiful as the Chinese Room but is a bit larger and less discreet. Hempel made sure that not only did the design of the restaurant make sense but that even the menu paired nicely with the design and ambiance of the space.

If hiding away in a hotel is not what you picture yourself doing while in London, don't worry because some of London's most fashionable and famous stops are just around the corner. You will find Harrod's, Knightsbridge and the area of Brompton Cross and Kings Road within a 5-minute walk. Had enough shopping? Several museums, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are all very close by.

Hempel's desire was to create a hotel where travelers would enjoy lavish design, impeccable service, and total privacy. It is evident, that Blake's has conquered all of these elements and is truly a secluded getaway for the rich and famous and well-traveled.

Source: Design Hotels & Blakes Hotel